Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner plans to sell his company's controlling stake in the legendary magazine that chronicled the music and politics of the counterculture movement and changed music journalism forever.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Wenner and his 27-year-old son, Gus, the president and chief operating officer of Wenner Media, hope to stay on at the magazine, but it's a decision for the buyer.

Gus Wenner said in an interview last week that "publishing is a completely different industry than what it was."

John Lennon Anniversary

A 2010 cover of Rolling Stone was dedicated to former Beatle John Lennon. The magazine has been a pioneer in music journalism. (Rolling Stone/Associated Press)

Wenner told the Times it has been difficult to keep Wenner Media independent as publishing faces competition from digital media and advertising sales decline.

The magazine has been under financial pressure since it lost a lawsuit over a campus rape story published in 2015.

No potential buyers have been named. The company's other magazines, Us Weekly and Men's Journal, were sold recently to American Media Inc., helmed by publisher David J. Pecker.

 BandLab Technologies, a music technology company based in Singapore, already owns a 49 per cent stake in Rolling Stone.

The elder Wenner says he hopes to find a buyer that understands Rolling Stone's mission.